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Interview: Photographer Claudiu Guraliuc (Romania)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I am fine art photographer and educator, based in Cluj, Romania. I am a Master Photographer, holding the Associate distinction with The Master Photographers Association in the UK, and the distinction of Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.

Over the last years I`ve been awarded numerous international accolades, in October 2020 receiving the Fine Art Photographer of the Year award, at the Master Photography Awards Gala in the UK, with an image part of my painterly, baroque-inspired series.

In January 2022, I received the International Master Photographer of the Year 2021 award, one of the top accolades in the industry. I was also presented with the Portrait and Fine Art Photographer of the Year awards, at the 38th Annual Master Photographers International Awards in the UK.

In 2023 I became the first Romanian photographer to win a FEP Camera Award, receiving the European Bronze Camera in Fine Art from the Federation of European Professional Photographers

I`ve had my work published by some of the largest circulation photography magazines and have artwork present in galleries, private collections and museums in Europe, Asia and United States. Currently represented by Katsea Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, US and Influx Gallery, Notting Hill, London.



How and when did you get into photography?

I started photography in 2013 as a way to deal with a high stress job in banking. And it took over my life. From a hobby it became a profession and a way of life.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography, to me, transcends mere imagery; it's a medium through which I breathe life into moments, emotions, and stories. It`s not just about capturing a scene but about orchestrating light, composition, and narrative to evoke profound emotions in viewers. It's a relentless pursuit of perfection, a dance between technical precision and creative intuition.

Photography is my language, my means of expression, and my way of connecting deeply with the world and those who view my work.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

My work is first and foremost an attempt to translate the aesthetic of the Old Masters to the means of expression of digital photography. This involves not only replicating their techniques but also finding ways to bring their style into the 21st century.

To achieve this, I experiment with digital techniques trying to create images that are both technically proficient and emotionally resonant, images that are not only visually striking, but also deeply evocative and expressive.

Through my work, I hope to bring a sense of classical refinement and sophistication to contemporary photography, while also exploring the timeless themes of beauty, form, and human condition.

I believe that by combining the best of the past with the possibilities of the present, I can create images that are both timeless and modern, and that will continue to inspire and move viewers for generations to come.

 Ultimately, my goal is to pay homage to the traditions of the Old Masters while also finding ways to make their aesthetic relevant and accessible to contemporary audiences.


Where do you get inspiration from?

As a photographer, I am constantly inspired by the aesthetics of Old Masters paintings, especially what is commonly referred to as the Baroque period. Their attention to detail, use of light and shadow and ability to capture the human form in a way that is both realistic and ethereal, is something that I strive to bring into my photographs.

 I am particularly drawn to the way that Old Masters were able to convey a sense of depth and three-dimensionality in their paintings, by the way that classical painting was able to convey that sense of grandeur and drama.

I try to recreate this sense of depth and dimensionality in my own photos, by carefully controlling the lighting and composition of my shots, through the use of dramatic lighting and posing.

At the same time, I also seek to bring a sense of intimacy and emotion to my work, drawing on the traditions of classical portraiture to create images that are both timeless and deeply personal and that speak to the enduring beauty and humanity of the human experience.


Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

Always. For me, planning is the most important part of any photographic project. Good planning gets you the desired results much faster than otherwise and makes life easier both during the shoot and editing stages.


Studio, on location or both?

I prefer to shoot in a studio environment using artificial light. It may have to do with my being a control freak. Natural light may be beautiful but is not always so. In the studio, I make the light. It’s always how I decide it to be.


What has been your most memorable session and why?

I believe it was the session that marked the inception of my series inspired by the Baroque era. The images from that session, along with those that followed, truly changed both my life and my career.


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Photography is my only source of income, so I guess that makes me a professional.


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I work with Nikon gear. Most of my studio work is done with a Nikon 105mm 1.4 and a Nikon 58mm 1.4.


What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Hard work, individual study, lots of practice, resilience and a positive attitude will bring you success. Not expensive gear or fancy locations. Do what you love and you will never have to work for one day in your life. Do it now, not tomorrow, not the day after. I know is hard. But trust me, when you do something with love and put a small piece of yourself in everything you produce, there will always be a living to be made out of that.


What do you think of our new magazine?

Any such initiative holds immense promise for enriching visual culture and nurturing the photographic community.

Firstly, it can serve as a platform for emerging and established photographers to showcase their work, offering exposure and recognition crucial for their growth. By featuring diverse perspectives, styles, and genres, it broadens horizons, stimulating creativity and inspiring innovation within the photographic community.

Your publication can provide a curated space for critical discourse and analysis, fostering intellectual engagement with images. Through articles, interviews, and reviews, it encourages dialogue on contemporary issues, historical contexts, and technological advancements in photography, thereby deepening our understanding of visual culture.

I applaud the emergence of any magazine dedicated to photography because it can cultivate a sense of belonging and camaraderie among enthusiasts, professionals, and aficionados alike. It creates opportunities for networking, collaboration, and mentorship, strengthening bonds within the community and facilitating knowledge exchange.

It has the potential to contribute significantly to the enrichment of visual culture and the continued evolution of the photographic community.



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